Voice from a Director’s Perspective: Conversation with Janette Smith


Janette Smith & Christine photoboothing it up with some colleagues at ArtsEd’s grad ball. Janette is standing next to Christine, wearing that oh-so-stylish hat in those first couple of photos. 

Hey Friends,

Are you an actor and if so, did you enjoy last week’s episode with director Dan Bird? Wondering what other directors have to say about what they’re looking for from you vocally?

In this episode, Christine talks to friend and colleague Janette Smith. Janette is a freelance director and actor trainer, and has a lot of interesting thoughts about what she’s looking for from actors vocally. This episode is especially relevant for actors who are in training or who are thinking about training, but is also useful for all professionals!

Themes that come up are:

  • actors need to know their instruments: how to use them and what their limits are.
  • There is nothing worse for the audience than hearing actors hurting themselves. Audiences don’t like watching someone hurt themselves– it takes them out of the story.
  • The difference between ease and relaxation.
  • Actors need to be more aware of how much an audience listens– that they absorb sounds of words as well as meaning, and that listening to live actors means audiences can feel, as well as hear their voices.
  •  Actors have to be multi-skilled. This job takes a lot of craft.
  • Directors have to work in a very different way with unskilled actors than trained actors who understand their body and voice.

If you’d like a downloadable version of this episode, you can find it on iTunes by searching for ‘BeSpoke Speaks’ or on BuzzSprout.

We’d love to hear thoughts and questions that this conversation brings up for you. Feel free to comment below or email us at bespoke.comcontact@gmail.com. We are looking for more questions to answer for future podcast episodes– we’d love to hear from you!

Take good care,

Christine & Lindsay


2 thoughts on “Voice from a Director’s Perspective: Conversation with Janette Smith

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